Tim Cartwright of Exterion Media: why digital is driving the out of home industry

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A few years ago, when Digital Out of Home (DOOH) was the hot new thing on the scene, many wanted to give it a try, hoping to lead the way in cutting edge innovation.

According to Outdoor Media Centre, DOOH is now responsible for over 25 per cent for all UK OOH spend, and Kinetic Worldwide predicts the total number of DOOH sites in the UK will grow more than 40 per cent between 2015 and 2020.

Enthusiasm is great, but only a few have the means to really make DOOH shine. A combination of technology, connectivity, creativity and a sophisticated approach has transformed the OOH landscape. DOOH offers advertisers the opportunity to integrate with other platforms – allowing greater engagement, better flexibility and memorable experiences. However, the challenge is to deliver true digital innovation, with huge opportunities available to those that crack the formula.

Collaboration is key to creating a truly immersive DOOH experience and Hasbro’s live Monopoly game at Westfield Stratford (below) is an example of this. A partnership between Hasbro, OMD UK, Grand Visual, Talon and Exterion, the campaign featured an interactive game on Westfield Stratford’s Four Dials digital screen, which allowed shoppers to play via their smartphones to move a token across the digital board. Cameras were on hand to capture live surprises waiting for the unsuspecting shoppers, including policemen ready to take people away if they landed on the ‘Go to Jail’ square.

Pride in London (below) took another approach. Members of the public were invited to tweet what freedom meant to them by using #FreedomTo, with the chance to appear in a London-wide DOOH campaign across Digital Escalator panels (DEPs) and Cross-Track Projection (XTP) screens on the London Underground. Over 60 individual participants were chosen to have their personal messages broadcast to millions of commuters as well as online during the two week campaign. Pride’s campaign reached 1.2 million people on Facebook (up 756 per cent YOY), and had 63 million Twitter impressions (up 440 per cent YOY).

Digital has helped the world of OOH to evolve from a one-way broadcast medium into a more personal consumer conversation that works in tandem with traditional poster sites. Today’s campaigns are captivating, interactive and engaging. They tap into the consumer’s desire to engage with interesting content that creates memorable experiences which they can share. We’re also now seeing advances across the sector that allow the industry to create immersive and engaging campaigns with the aid of technologies that only five years ago remained strictly niche – such as touch and other interactive screen technology.

DOOH will be responsible for a third of UK OOH spend by the end of this year. This is great news for consumers and brands, provided brands utilise the opportunity to be personal and engaging. The industry is only just starting to push the boundaries of digital – and it’s exciting to see the endless innovation that’s still to come.

unnamedTim Cartwright is head of digital at Exterion Media.

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